The local community has hit back at the Australian Electoral Commission’s proposal to move the Central Goldfields Shire into the Division of Mallee, with the state’s Nationals Party also against the shift.
Following the release of the Redistribution Committee for Victoria’s report into the proposed redistribution of electoral divisions in April, which suggested the Central Goldfields Shire be moved into the Division of Mallee, more than 20 objections to the change were submitted to the AEC.
Over 400 objections in total were submitted to the AEC regarding the redistribution of federal electoral boundaries in Victoria and the re-naming of electorates.
Among the objectors was The Nationals political party, whose member Andrew Broad holds the Division of Mallee by more than 71 percent. The party said it objected to the proposal of the Central Goldfields Shire and the northern parts of the Pyrenees Shire moving from the Division of Wannon to Mallee.
“The Central Goldfields Shire has had to deal with being moved around in the 2010 redistribution (Bendigo to Wannon). Being the most socioeconomically disadvantaged municipality in Victoria, we believe it would be unfair to expect constituents to travel to Mildura to meet their local representative,” the Nationals’ objection stated
The main concerns highlighted within the objections, which included submissions from the Committee for Maryborough and the Central Goldfields Shire Council, was the lack of community of interests within the Division of Mallee and the shire.
The Committee for Maryborough suggested the Central Goldfields Shire move to either the Bendigo or Ballarat divisions, or stay in Wannon.
The Central Goldfields Shire Council’s objection stated that the proposed move is “likely to have detrimental impacts” on the local community.
The Pyrenees Shire Council also objected to the proposed move to split its shire in two, with the AEC proposing the northern part of the shire be moved into Mallee, while the rest remains in Wannon.
For more on this story see the Front Page of The Advertiser, Friday, May 11.